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Summary: This message covers the concept of displaying an unconditional measure of love for God and His cause

I. "THEN TOOK MARY A POUND OF OINTMENT OF SPIKENARD, VERY COSTLY, AND ANOINTED THE FEET OF JESUS AND WIPED HIS FEET WITH HER HAIR"

A. The setting of our text:

1. Jesus had arrived at Bethany six days before the Passover - that is on a Friday

2. The day after was the Sabbath and "they made Him a supper"; it was a special festive meal on the Sabbath

3. The meal took place in the house of Simon who had been a leper

B. It was during this festive meal:

1. That Mary came and anointed the feet of the Lord with spikenard and wiped His feet with her hair

2. And, as usual, she was criticized for "wasting" this costly ointment on the feet of Jesus

3. But our Lord pointed out that the anointing was in preparation for His burial

II. LOVE'S OFFERING

A. The story of Mary using a pound of spikenard on the feet of Jesus is very thought provoking:

1. It reveals the nature of true love

2. True love cannot be measured by the material things of life. Examples: Here is a woman who wanted to express her love to her Saviour and to do that she took a pound of spikenard valued at a lot of money and anointed His feet. Another woman wanted to show her love to God and she put all her living into the Lord's treasury - Mark 12:41-44

B. True love will never be understood by those who are void of it:

1. To Judas it was a waste of money simply because he was a thief; he had no love for the Master

2. How often have I heard people find fault with giving so much to missions in otherlands; but all this criticism comes from a heart that is void of the love that gives freely. Examples: A house was on fire and it was known that three little children were in the house. A man risked the fire and entered the house only to be driven back by the flames, but he entered anyway; saved the children and received deep burns on his body. He was asked why did you do this; his answer was, "They are my children and I love them"

III. LOVE'SOFFERING

A. Love's offering has its origin in Heaven - in the heart of God - I John 4:8

1. "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life" - John 3:16

2. The Son of God gave His life for me because He loved me - Gal 2:20

B. This divine love has become the gift of Heaven to the Christian believers:

1. It has been shed abroad in our hearts - Romans 5:5

2. This explains Paul's attitude when he said, "I am ready not to be bound only, but also

to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus" Acts 21:13

3. That explains his attitude when he says, "I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh" - Rom 9:3

C. Love, heaven inspired love, will always give the best it has:

1. The best Heaven had to offer was the Son of God - Rom 8:31-33

2. The best Mary had was a pound of spikenard and to use her hair to dry the feet of Jesus

3. The best James had was to sacrifice his life for Jesus - Acts 12:1-2

4. The best Stephen had to offer was his life - Acts 7:58-60

5. Then think of all the martyrs of Christ during the Dark Ages - Heb 1:36-38

D. Finally, the measure of our offering:

1. Will be found in the measure of love for God and His cause

2. If the love of Christ controls our hearts it will affect our pocket books, yea, all we have; it will go by the Divine dictum, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" - Acts 20:35

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